JV Ejercito wants Senate probe on alleged sugar price manipulation
MANILA, Philippines — Senator JV Ejercito on Friday urged a Senate investigation on the rise in sugar prices, which he said may “unmask” the people behind the “highly irregular” increase.
“I will file a resolution urging the Senate to investigate the increase in sugar prices, especially here in Manila. One of the directions of this investigation is to unmask the people behind this,”
said Ejercito, one of the authors of the Sugar Cane Industry Development Act.
“But what is important and urgent right now is a quick government intervention to lower the price and protect the consumers and end-users as well as the sugar farmers and producers,” he added.
The senator said officials of the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, and the Sugar Regulatory Board should explain the “highly irregular” rise in sugar prices in Metro Manila and other parts of the country in a Senate hearing.
Given that production of sugar was high and supply was adequate, Ejercito said he suspects that some “dirty hands” are manipulating market prices.
The senator said the prevailing farmgate price of raw or brown sugar is P30 per kilo, according to farmers. But in Metro Manila and other areas, consumers were reportedly complaining about the price of sugar.
“Unfair naman ito sa mga magsasaka dahil sila ang talagang nagtatrabaho ‘tapos ang nakikinabang ng husto ay iba. At unfair din sa mga consumers,” the senator said.
(This is unfair to the farmers since they are working hard and other people gain more. It’s also unfair to the consumers.)
“We will see where the Senate probe will lead us to,” he added. /ee
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